Friday, August 20, 2010
The Liberal Sexual Mores of Evangelicals
This is ironic, however, since evangelicals have abandoned most other conservative, historic Christian teachings in favor of new, liberal teachings regarding sexuality.
Yes, most evangelicals believe that sex is only for married couples, and that marriage is only for couples with one man and one woman who are not closely related. This is good. But on most issues beyond this, evangelicals have abandoned the long-standing, universally held Christian teachings.
Virtually all evangelicals reject the historic Christian teachings on divorce and the use of contraception, and many evangelicals also reject the historic Christian teachings on oral sex, heterosexual anal sex, and masturbation.
The break from the historic teaching on divorce occurred in the Reformation itself. The Catholic Church had always held that divorce was impossible. For Jesus taught "what God has joined together, let no man separate." (Mt 19.6) And what is claimed by Protestants today as an allowance for divorce ("except for pornea" in Mt 5.32) had always been interpreted as dealing with the breaking of an engagement or marriage that was unlawful to begin with. Evangelicals have chosen to follow the Reformer's liberal views rather than the historic Christian teaching.
agreed with the Catholic Church for hundreds of years that the use of contraception, and the practices of oral sex, heterosexual anal sex, and masturbation were gravely immoral. It was only recently, in the mid-20th century, that, pressured by the world, evangelicals decided to change their theology of what marriage and sex are in order to embrace these practices - practices that had always been rejected by Christians since the 1st century.
Now, Scripture hasn't changed. The Great Tradition hasn't changed. The Catholic Church hasn't changed. But evangelicals have.
So why do evangelicals consider themselves as holding to conservative, historic Christian sexual mores? Because most evangelicals don't know history. They don't know that they have broken from Christian history, in some cases very recently, in favor of newly created liberal theology.
If you are attending an evangelical church and want to hold to the conservative, historic Christian teachings on sexual mores, you're going to the wrong church.